Monday, September 16, 2013

Crock Pot Pasta E Fagioli Soup

2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (16 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained
3 (10 ounce) cans beef stock
3 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons pepper
5 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)
1 (20 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
8 ounces pasta, cooked according to package directions

1. Brown beef in a skillet.
2. Drain fat from beef and add to crock pot with everything except pasta.
3. Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.
4. During last 30 min on high or 1 hour on low, add pasta.

Notes: This made a lot. It almost didn't fit in our crock pot. The recipe is supposed to be based on the Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli soup, but since I've never had that, I can't really say whether or not it comes close. Our vegetables were still a bit crispy even after 7 or 8 hours and could probably have used more time.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup

5 pounds russet potatoes, washed but not peeled, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium/large yellow onion, diced
10 cloves of garlic, minced
64 ounces (8 cups) chicken stock or broth
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
optional garnishes: crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, green onions

1. Add potatoes, onion, garlic, seasoning, and chicken stock to slow cooker.
2. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours.
3. Add the softened cream cheese and puree soup with an immersion blender until the cheese is incorporated and about half the soup is blended. (You could also remove half the soup and the cream cheese to an upright blender, then re-incorporate).
4. Stir well and top with your choice of garnishes. Yields about 10-12 servings.

Notes: I really enjoyed this soup. I didn't come close to getting tired of the leftovers, even after having it 4 or 5 times.